London:Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi said his organisation could not be held responsible if Sri Lanka cancelled their tour of England in April and May next year.
Sri Lanka, themselves a substitute side for Zimbabwe, could pull out of the scheduled two Tests and three One-Day Internationals, which precede the Ashes, because stars such as Kumar Sangakkara and Muttiah Muralitharan are contracted to the IPL.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan board, who are in no position to offer their players anything like the money they might earn in the Twenty20 jamboree, are concluding a USD 40-million deal with the IPL.
That would lead to the full participation of Sri Lankan players in the IPL and the Twenty20 Champions League for the next decade.
Modi, speaking at the Global Sport Summit in London, said, "The ICC's (International Cricket Council's) tours programme is fixed seven years in advance. Everybody commits to that and players commit to their countries on that basis.
"There are gaps in the scheduling. Based on those gaps players and countries make other programmes to fill them. The Indian Premier League took into account the ICC's fixed programme and signed players on three-year contracts.
"The Sri Lanka board gave their players a no-objection certificate for three years to play in the Indian Premier League.
"Unfortunately the Zimbabwe tour to England was cancelled. The ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) had an obligation to Sky television to bring another team in.